A more effective Walk may be more private

This post will be the final in a series about making your walk more intentional.  Last week we talked about making your walk more intentional and prior to that we discussed just what an intentional walk would look like.  In my post today I will discuss how the visibility of one’s walk may become more private as time passes.  A more private walk does not mean less effective.  In many cases a more private walk can be extremely powerful if handled in the proper manner.  More about that in a moment.

The iceberg is such a great visual when I think of how one might operate with his or her walk.  Icebergs are massive structures, but only a small percentage of the ice is visible above the surface.  The majority of the ice is below the surface and to the unaware the berg may appear much smaller than it might first appear.  The victims of the Titanic were among many who realized just how powerful an iceberg can be and I would pose the thought that many of us are much more effective in our walk than what others might see at first glance.

Earlier in my career I always felt the need to have my walk be more like the part of the iceberg above the surface of the water.  My need for attention and validation was much greater then and having others see who I was and what I was doing made me feel good.

As time has passed I have developed a greater level of self awareness and I now see the overwhelming amount of my impact being “below the surface”, much like the majority of the structure of an iceberg.  I would pose that all of us have much more below the surface than others will see.  I used to spend a great deal of time making sure others saw the visible part of my berg and I now realize that I can be much more effective by focusing below the line of sight and helping make improvements in not only my own world, but also in the world of others.

Just how can my walk be more effective by being more private?  Here are just a few examples:

  • Mentoring and developing the skills of others; rather than only focusing on what I can do better, I can also spend time investing in others so that they too can become more effective
  • Coaching and listening to others as they “float” along the oceans of life;  many of us float without a plan and having someone who will be intentional with their walk can aid them in being more purposeful, more intentional in their journey
  • Spending less time and effort in promoting my own successes and spending time helping others recognize and celebrate in their strengths and their capabilities

Leaders need to recognize where their position with a team is based on the maturity and competency of their team.  New, unaware teams need someone who will lead from the front, much like the lead dog in a sled team.  As a team grows and matures the leaders may step to the side and coach and counsel the team as they approach and overcome obstacles in their work.  Capable teams need a leader who will step to the rear and coach and encourage them, delegating all they are capable of doing and not removing developmental opportunities from them.

We are all icebergs in our developmental process.  The amount of time and energy we spend talking about what shows above the surface is time and effort we will not have in helping and enabling others.

The more intentional walk for an experienced leader will focus more below the surface.  Rather than calling attention to what he or she is doing, this intentional leader will focus on the needs of others.  Most of this work will be below the surface.

Do you have the emotional security, the self awareness, to be this intentional leader?